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Gerald Massey (Джеральд Масси)

The Worker

I CARE not a curse though from birth he inherit
    The tear-bitter bread and the stingings of scorn,
If the man be but one of God's nobles in spirit,—
    Though penniless, richly soul'd,—heartsome, though
And will not for golden bribe lout it or flatter,
    But clings to tile Right aye, as steel to the pole:
He may sweat at the plough, loom, or anvil, no matter,
    I'll own him the man that is dear to my soul.

His hand may be hard, and his raiment be tatter'd,
    On straw-pallet nightly his weary limbs rest;
If his brow wear the stamp of a spirit unfettered,
    I'm mining at once for the gems in his breast.
Give me the true man, who will fear not nor falter,
    Though Want be his guerdon, the Workhouse his goal,
Till his heart has burnt out upon Liberty's Altar:
    For this is the man I hold dear to my soul.

True hearts, in this brave world of blessings and beauty.
    Aye scorn the poor splendour of losel and lurker;
And Toil is creation's crown, worship is duty,
    And greater than Gods in old days is the Worker.
For us the wealth-laden world laboureth ever;
    For us harvests ripen, winds blow, waters roll;
And him who gives back in his might of endeavour,
    I'll cherish,—a man ever dear to my soul.

Gerald Massey's other poems:
  1. A Winter's Tale for the Little Ones
  2. A Night-Musing
  3. To My Wife
  4. To a Beloved One
  5. Eden

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